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Assessment of the Relative Value of Knowledge Transfer Processes to the Success of International Projects Open Access

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As the activities of companies become global in nature there is an emerging need to understand the processes that lead to the success of large projects in which the core competency is centered in a parent company, an engineering development center that is located in a subsidiary company in another country, and special application customers that are distributed across the globe. This situation requires an ever-increasing role for professional project managers in subsidiary companies to cross international boundaries in order to connect the parent company with the ultimate user who has a specific application. The modern Project Manager must consider many facets of their responsibilities including : (1) managing corporate knowledge as a strategic asset; (2) transferring corporate knowledge to the project team and transferring engineering capabilities back to corporate; and, (3) developing customer requirements that ensure project success. In order to meet these responsibilities, the project manager needs to understand the diversity of technical communication from parent to subsidiary, the cultural vagaries of these communications, in addition to maintaining an eye on the knowledge transfer process. The challenges for an organization is to manage its knowledge assets and handle knowledge transfer between headquarters and its subsidiaries in an optimum manner so that international projects succeed in meeting their objectives. The project manager is a key player in the process. Statistics show however that most international projects either fail or do not achieve their ultimate business goals and it's not clear at this point what are the primary causes.This study will investigate, identify, and analyze the factors and attributes associated with successes of international projects examining cultural and knowledge transfer processes of foreign-owned heavy machinery companies with U.S. subsidiaries. It plans to improve understanding of how communication structures and mechanisms of companies are integrating factors between culture and the knowledge transfer chain, and how, in turn, they impact project success. Based on the findings, the study will propose a conceptual framework from which key cultural attributes and knowledge transfer processes within certain communication mechanisms, can be modeled for potentially identifying project success.

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